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Weekly Message from the Superintendent

Superintendent's Weekly Message - February 2, 2024

Dear Staff and Families,

On Tuesday, January 23, the Board of Education (BOE) approved the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 District calendars with an amendment to keep schools open on Columbus Day and Veterans Day.  In doing so, the BOE exercised its right under Connecticut state law to keep schools open on any federal holiday except those occurring in December and January.

Since the vote, the BOE and the Superintendent’s Office have heard from many community members regarding this change.  While some in our community are disappointed by this decision, I see it as an opportunity to more fully recognize these holidays as a school community.  In fact, the State requires schools that remain open on federal holidays to offer a “suitable nonsectarian educational program” in observance of those holidays. 

Our schools already host many events in recognition of our local veterans, and the BOE’s decision to keep schools open will enable us to host those events on Veterans Day itself in 2024 and 2025.  In addition, I have asked our Teaching and Learning team to develop Columbus Day programming for students in PreK-12.  As Columbus is not a part of the social studies curriculum at every grade level, this change presents an opportunity for students to hear about Columbus every year.

Other districts in our region - including Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Trumbull, Wilton - will also be in session on Columbus Day and/or Veterans Day next year.  

Celebrate our Teacher of the Year!

I want to thank State Representative Anabel Figueroa and the entire Stamford Delegation for joining us last week at Turn of River Middle School to celebrate our 2023 Teacher of the Year Elba Sims.

Mayor Simmons and Representative Figueroa presented Ms. Sims with congratulatory citations noting her hard work and dedication to her New Arrival students, and the Mayor declared January 23, 2024 as Elba Sims Day in Stamford!

In addition to Mayor Simmons and Representative Figueroa, Ms. Sims was joined at the celebration by her New Arrivals students, State Senator Patricia Billie Miller, Associate Superintendent Lori Rhodes, TOR principal Sherri Prendergast, Stamford Education Association president John Corcoran, and our Director of Recruitment and Retention Charmaine Tourse Davis.

Budget Update 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the budget listening sessions and BOE public budget hearing.  We appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

The following are next steps in the budget process:

●         BOE Budget Workshop – Tuesday, February 6

●         BOE Budget Vote – Thursday, February 22

●         Submit Budget to Mayor – March 1

●         Board of Finance budget meetings – March/ April TBA

●         Board of Representatives budget meetings – April/May TBA

●         BOE Reallocation – May/June

Thank you Roxbury!

Thank you to the Roxbury School community for inviting me to be a guest reader at the flashlight reading night and book giveaway.  This event was an amazing family and community engagement opportunity highlighting the importance of reading.

Reading as a family during your child’s Pre-K and elementary years is crucial to their academic development.  Please set aside time each week to read as a family!

Caught Being Kind

During my recent visit to KT Murphy, Principal Jamie Fisco told me about “Caught Being Kind,” a new program through which students and teachers are recognized on a weekly basis for their kind gestures toward others.  I was happy to meet and congratulate special education teacher Jeff Todd and 4th grade teacher Blair Silano who were recently “Caught Being Kind” to others in the KT Murphy community.  

This is a wonderful continuation of the Stamford Kindness Project that was launched last year by the City of Stamford to spread kindness and positivity in the Stamford community and beyond.  The goal of this program was for the community to perform 100,000 acts of kindness by December 31, 2023.

Please continue this work in the Stamford community by finding other ways to show kindness!

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Dr. Tamu Lucero

Superintendent

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